THE fixture shuffle caused by the winter break being brought forward by the SPFL is a "nightmare" for Rangers, that's according to Alan Hutton.

The former Ibrox man reckons the break has not only stopped the building momentum under Giovanni van Bronckhorst but also boosted Celtic.

Ten Scottish Premiership clubs, excluding Rangers and Ross County, had called for the break to be moved with the SPFL ruling it would come into effect after the Boxing Day fixtures.

The calls had comes after the Scottish Government introduced new measures limiting fan capacity to 500 from December 26. Now clubs are hopeful the strict curbs are lifted before fixtures resume in January.

Rangers had fixtures against Aberdeen and the New Year derby with Celtic on January 2 shifted as part of the winter break adjustment.

And Hutton reckons it's "difficult" for Rangers with the fixtures moved as Celtic have so many players out injured.

Ange Postecoglou is currently without David Turnbull, Kyogo, Jota, Hart, James Forrest and Giorgos Giakoumakis.

For Hutton that means Celtic will benefit from the break and could even be boosted with returning players for the rescheduled Glasgow derby at Parkhead on February 2.

He told Football Insider: “For the winter break to come around now, it is difficult for Rangers, especially that Celtic game.

“Celtic have had a lot of injuries, no fans in the stadium, so it really suits them for this game to be postponed. For Rangers, it’s a bit of a nightmare.

“I think Ange Postecoglou will be really happy with the break. We’ve seen the likes of Kyogo, they patched him up for the cup final and then he gets injured again.

“The opportunity of a couple of weeks rest, get some of these main players back. If you just go back to the St Mirren game, Hart was missing, Jota Turnbull. These guys are big-name players for them.

“It’s a great opportunity to get people off the treatment table. Get rid of these Covid issues and move forward.”